Deciding to have a bone marrow transplant is a significant event. It is the first step of a long, challenging journey. It is also the beginning of a busy time when you will be organizing your personal affairs so that you can give your full attention to coping with the treatment experience and recovering.
Most patients begin by making an appointment to consult with our doctors to discuss the possibility of a transplant. Once we determine that you are eligible and your transplant is scheduled, our staff will send you a book and DVD called Preparing for Transplant. These will guide you through the necessary planning, preparation, and decision making.
Preparing for Transplant includes information about a range of topics, including:
- Selecting a caregiver, a responsible adult family member or friend to provide physical care, help monitor your health, administer medications, and give you emotional support. Your transplant team will teach your caregiver about these duties. Your caregiver must be available to be with you most of the time for many weeks.
- Arranging to live in Seattle for your transplant, if you don’t live here already. We require that you live within 30 minutes of the clinic for your safety. The length of time is different for each person and depends on your disease, treatment plan, and response to treatment. Your transplant team can talk with you about the length of time you can expect. A typical range is one month for an autologous transplant and four months for an allogeneic transplant.
- Bringing your children with you, and arranging for school and childcare.
- Making financial arrangements to pay for your transplant and your living expenses during your time in Seattle, or raising funds to help.
The Patient & Family Resource Center has information about support services and classes. They also offer computer workstations with printers, fax machines, and copy machines for you to use. Learn more about support for patients.